Developing and using experiences in implementing REDD+ in the Himalayas

Project description

Title: REDD+ Himalayas: Developing and using experiences in implementing REDD+ in the Himalayas
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
Country: Nepal, Bhutan, India, Myanmar
Lead executing agency: International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
Overall term: 2013 to 2020


International negotiations on the best design for REDD+ structures are ongoing. Meanwhile, in many countries – including those of the Himalayan region – programmes already exist to establish the necessary policies, and the institutional and technical preconditions in readiness for REDD. An important part of this involves the development of national action plans and building up institutional and technical capacities.

The basic idea of REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) is to provide an economic motivation for the conservation of forests through incentive payments and payments for emission reductions (carbon financing). In accordance with the decisions taken at the climate change conference in Cancun, REDD is currently entering a second phase which will involve implementation of the action plans with international financial support, as well as the completion of demonstration projects.

In the Himalayan countries, national forest authorities and forest user groups are not yet able to achieve the preconditions for REDD+ or to implement REDD+ projects. Nor are there any transparent and effective incentives in place for national and sub-national forestry actors to invest in REDD+. There is no intergovernmental coordination at the regional level, especially for measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) or the identification of potential leakage.


In the four eastern Himalayan states, conditions have improved for the commencement of socially and ecologically appropriate REDD measures to mitigate climate change. Climate risks are taken more systematically into consideration, and greater use is made of adaptation potentials.


The programme addresses current aspects of the REDD+ process in Nepal, Bhutan, India and Myanmar. Components of the programme focus on capacity building and training, technical and organisational advice, and the development of methods for the measurement, reporting and verification of carbon storage. With its advisory services, GIZ ensures the strategic orientation and continued thematic development of the project, as well as the strategic integration of the results of its work in the formulation of national REDD+ development strategies. The role of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is to improve knowledge management within the countries involved, as well as the exchanges of information between them.

ICIMOD has already gained its first experiences of REDD+ pilot projects in Nepal, and the Himalayan states have called on the organisation to provide comprehensive support in this area. As a ‘regional centre of learning’, ICIMOD is an effective multiplier with a mandate to support knowledge exchange and disseminate innovative approaches in the region.

The programme contributes directly to the ‘Transboundary Landscape Regional Programme’, which was developed collectively by the countries of the region. This is a cross-border initiative whose main aim is to protect and use the landscapes of the Himalayas in such a way that they provide goods and services sustainably for the population of the whole region. That objective dovetails well with the regional support provided by the REDD+ promotion programme.